Mother, Infant and Young Child Nutrition & Malnutrition Mother, Infant and Young Child Nutrition & Malnutrition - Feeding practices including micronutrient deficiencies prevention, control of wasting, stunting and underweight
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Home  »  Healthy Nutrition  »  About Healthy Nutrition  »  The Elements of a Healthy Diet  »  Proteins

About Healthy Nutrition

The Elements of a Healthy Diet

Proteins

Proteins provide the nutrients for maintaining the structure of your body. Muscles, bones, skin, nails and hair are made of protein. Digestive juices break down the proteins into basic units called amino acids that are reused by the body to make the protein needed to maintain muscles, bones, blood and body organs. Protein is made up of differing combinations of 23 separate amino acids. The human body can produce most of the amino acids it needs but there are 9 known as essential amino acids, that must be obtained from the diet.

A lack of protein in the diet retards growth in children and causes a decrease in energy. Excess protein intake, on the other hand, puts a strain on the liver and kidneys and leads to an increased risk of cancer and coronary heart disease.

Animal sources contain all 9 essential amino acids but can have side effects on cholesterol levels if taken in excess. All unrefined vegetable foods are full of protein. For example, rice is 8% protein, potatoes 10%, beans 26% and wheat 16%.



6 March, 2016
 


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